course load/difficulty

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medhopeful08, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. medhopeful08

    medhopeful08 Senior Member

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    hi all,
    i was wondering if med schools take into account the course load one takes. For instance, if one gets a 4.0 with 27 credit hours vs. someone with a 3.8 with 32 credit hours -- does this make a difference? Is a 4.0 still a 4.0?
    thanks!
     
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  3. DALABROKA

    DALABROKA Raider Hater

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    As long as the load you are taking is considered full time, I don't think that it matters; a 4.0 is a 4.0. Now, if you graduate with a 4.0 after 8 years as an undergrad, they will care. On the flip side, if you take some crazy number of credits (like 25 hours in one semester) and get a 4.0, it could make you stand out, but I don't think it really will make a huge difference. A freind of mine did all of his pre-reqs in 1 year and none of the people he interviewed with even mentioned it.

    DALA
     
  4. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member

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    I'm doing a double major and so I'm taking a really heavy courseload, and I was worried because I might be getting one or two B's but I was assured by both my advisor and someone I know who's a professor at the dental school that they would understand. They'll probably understand if you get a 3.8 with more credit hours, but I'd suggest taking less if you can. Better grades, less work, winning deal....
     
  5. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    Adcoms know how many hours you take. If you consistently want to take an overload each semester, you will end up with a significantly greater number of credits after 8 semesters. It is a pleasant surprise, its worth the work, and adcoms will definitely notice such a glaring disparity (ie.. if you take 5 courses a semester instead of 4, that is 4 more credit hours per semester for 8 semesters, or 32 more hours; then factor in APs for hours only, not GPA, and you have some sick numbers)
     
  6. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    Most schools dont care how many credit hours you got your 4.0 in, because US NEWS only factors in GPA not credit hours.
     
  7. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    But the AMCAS shows it, and it relates the degree with which one can handle volume in a courseload. Thus, its pretty important for med school admissions since med school is all about volume.
     
  8. rpames

    rpames Optometrist

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    I'm sure some of the interveiwers will look at course load, but I suspect more of them will not. I have talk to one and heard of other interviews that just look to see if you took the req classes. They didn't look at where, how, when, or with what, just that you did. Just make sure you don't take a really easy course load, they may notice that. Related to this, I called up several schools (Yale, UW-Madison, DMU, and others) and asked about internet classes. All of them said they didn't not care. The Yale guy even encouraged it. What I'm saying is this: take the course you need, but don't worry so much how you got them or in what order or combination. Just take them in a reasonable amount of time.
     
  9. Flack Pinku

    Flack Pinku U lookin at my glasses??

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    As long as you're at least full time, it won't matter. Just in case, if you do this, just keep a reason or two (safe-side) to let them know why you want to take it "easy," like hobbies, or job, or what-not.

    In other words:

    Low GPA, low credits = Not ok.
    High GPA, low credits = Great.
    High GPA, high credits = Super great.

    BUT,
    Low GPA and high credits isn't as desirable as High GPA and low credits.

    Remeber that the Admissions people aren't analyzing everything on your application... its just look at the GPA, MCAT and interview rating before voting.

    Some might not even notice that you have consistently taken 19+ cr/sem!
     
  10. ziadp

    ziadp Senior Member

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    They dont care. What you need:


    High GPA (i.e. 4.0)
    High MCAT (40)

    and a lot of luck.

    my simple two cents. probably worth a half a penny, but with this economy, everything is getting expensive.
     
  11. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    I agree that GPA and MCAT are most important. But at the point at which you have those stats, admissions are looking for reasons to accept you. One of these is that your GPA involved in-depth coursework in numerous classes, which is reflected in the number of credit hours.

    Otherwise, they wouldnt ask you to fill out that complicated form on AMCAS.
     
  12. DALABROKA

    DALABROKA Raider Hater

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    First of all, I highly doubt that adcoms look to course load to make final decisions about whom to accept. The number of hours one takes in a semester has little to do with their scholastic capacity. The only time that I have heard it discussed is with regard to not taking enough hours at a time (i.e., less than 12 hrs/sem.)

    I agree that in-depth course work is a plus, but that has little to do with the course load. If one takes the normal application route, they will have completed 90+ credit hours in a wide variety of classes by the time they apply.

    Secondly, the course listing portion of the application is given to schools to prevent the applicant from having to send a transcript to every school that they apply to. It is more likely to allow a quick check that the pre-reqs were done, not a complete examination of each class semester by semester. Some places may do this, but they probably only spend about two seconds on it, so it isn't likely to be a huge selling point.

    DALA
     
  13. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    In the original posters case, if there is a negligble difference between credit hours, then admissions will assume it is a quirk in the way schools handle hours.

    But if there is a huge difference in the total number of hours, it will have an effect on admissions I would imagine. Not as much as pure MCAT or pure GPA, but a worthwhile effect nonetheless.

    And the adcoms/interviewer will likely notice when looking at what you took, etc. the # of courses.
     
  14. scootad.

    scootad. Senior Member

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    as a veteran of the application process, these schools care little about # of credit hours as they are swamped w/ applications as it is, and only have a few minutes to glance over each application. i doubt they are using those precious minutes to add up credits. they are looking at cumulative gpas and mcat, then personal statement, then activities. at not one of my interviews was i every questioned about # of credits; the interviewers usually just say nice gpa, good mcat, thats all.
     
  15. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

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    So in general, they have no idea what courses you took in college outside of your major?

    That would seem to indicate that double majoring is very important, if that is the only thing they see.
     
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  17. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    no, they know every single course you ever took. double majoring is not important. if you want to, fine, but it doesn't really matter.

    i think course load matters to some extent. if you took a really light courseload it looks BAD unless you had to work full time to support yourself or something. additionally, i think adcoms will be impressed if you took a heavy courseload. i'm sure they don't look at course load all the time, but if you have something that stands out they will likely take notice.
     
  18. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    i agree with lola.

    gleevec, i was a bio and chem double major, and at a couple of my interviews i got asked about a handful of random philosophy and english courses i took. any class you take i've found to be fair game

    i took some pretty heavy semesters double majoring in sciences and minoring in poli sci and did well still in and outside the classroom, and most of my interviewers did acknowledge that. might help a little, but not expecting it to make our break my application :)

    dont overload for the sake of looking good in a med school application obviously. i just did it because that was my thing (i wasn't even "premed" in college). but if you manage it, all the power to you :D
     

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